If you’re wondering what sexually acquired reactive arthritis (SAR) is, there are several factors to consider.
In addition to the joints affected, reactive arthritis can cause inflammation of the eyes (conjunctivitis or uveitis), the cervix, and tendons.
It’s most common in the knees, ankles, and feet, but can impact other parts of the body as well. It can cause pain in the feet and hands and may also lead to skin rashes similar to those of psoriasis. Enthesitis, which involves the Achilles tendon, is another common symptom of reactive arthritis.
In a patient with SAR, inflammation of synovial membranes, tendons, and fasciae is the main manifestation. It is triggered by a genital pathogen and is often asymptomatic.
Subcutaneous nodules, neoplasms, and sarcomas may also be present. Symptoms of this disorder may develop slowly or suddenly, with remissions and recurrences. It is not usually dangerous for a sexual partner but should be reported to the appropriate authorities.
Reactive arthritis is more common in white men between 20 and 40 years of age. It can occur in either gender.
It is also linked to the presence of a specific genetic marker in both men and women, though most of these people will not develop the disease. The condition is hereditary, and there’s no way to change your genetics, but you can lower your risk of developing the disease by limiting your exposure to bacteria.
What are symptoms of sexually acquired reactive arthritis?
Reactive arthritis is a relatively common and short-term condition. The condition is often more prevalent in men, and it is more common in white men than in black men.
People with a high HLA-B27 gene are at a higher risk of developing the disease. This disorder can occur in epidemic form and is associated with increased risk in HIV patients. Reactive arthritis generally presents itself within one to three weeks, but symptoms can occur from four to 35 days after the onset of infection.
Reactive arthritis affects mostly white men in their 20s.
However, there have been reports of affected children and the elderly. While men are nine times more likely to develop this condition after a sexually transmitted infection, women usually develop only mild symptoms and may go undiagnosed.
Although a genetic link exists, researchers believe that many cases of sexually acquired reactive arthritis are undiagnosed, and they are often unaware of their condition.
What are the symptoms of sexually acquired reactive arthritis?
Sexually acquired reactive arthritis can be asymptomatic in the first few weeks. In men, the most common symptoms include pain while urinating and fluid discharge. In women, it can be accompanied by swelling of the urinary tract and fallopian tubes. Sexually acquired reactive arthritis may also involve the nervous system.
What are the causes of sexually acquired reactive arthritis?
Reactive arthritis is a relatively rare autoimmune disease that influences both men and women. It typically impacts white males between the ages of 20 and 40, though it has been reported in young children and the elderly.
Women usually show milder symptoms and may not be diagnosed as soon as men do. However, men are nine times more likely to develop reactive arthritis following a sexually transmitted disease, while women are at similar risk. Regardless of gender, researchers believe that many cases go undiagnosed.
Early symptoms of the disease may manifest in as little as three to six weeks. Many people experience fever and tiredness, though some have a high fever or significant fatigue.
In addition, weight loss is sometimes a sign of arthritic disease. Early signs and symptoms may include joint stiffness and muscle aches. These symptoms typically worsen when the affected person sits down and improve once they get moving. They often affect the knees and ankles, particularly the heel. Affected individuals may also have tenderness at the tendon attachment site.
Reactive arthritis is an autoimmune disease that develops after an infection in another part of the body. In most cases, the bacterial infection is Chlamydia trachomatis or Salmonella.
The bacterial infection itself is not contagious, but the bacteria that causes it can be. A panel of experts has compiled a list of pathogens that can cause ReA, including Salmonella and Chlamydia trachomatis.
Does sexually acquired reactive arthritis have complications?
Does sexually acquired reactive arthritis have complications? The question is frequently asked, and it deserves some explanation.
This disease is generally associated with white men, aged 20 to 40, but has also been reported in children and the elderly. Although men are nine times more likely to develop reactive arthritis after a sexually transmitted infection, women usually show milder symptoms and often go undiagnosed. Researchers believe that many cases are misdiagnosed, so it is vital to be aware of possible risks.
Reactive arthritis is typically associated with urogenital infections, but its symptoms can be similar to those of a cold or flu. Reactive arthritis most commonly affects men and is more common in whites than in blacks. It also occurs in epidemic forms, and patients with the HIV virus have an increased risk of developing the disease.
The symptoms typically develop in a week or two but can take anywhere from four to 35 days to manifest.
If your rheumatologist suspects an infection, he or she may recommend an antibiotic. This is because ReA can be caused by bowel infections and can impact the eyes. Antibiotics can prevent ReA if taken promptly after sexual contact.
Antibiotics are also important for preventing chronic ReA. However, they should not be used without a clear diagnosis. The best treatment for ReA is to take care of the underlying infection.
How to diagnose sexually acquired reactive arthritis?
Reactive arthritis is a type of inflammatory disease of the joints caused by an infection in another part of the body.
Infections that trigger the onset of the condition typically include a urinary tract infection (UTI), a STD, gastroenteritis, and food poisoning.
While the triggering infection can be mild or severe, it does not have any correlation with the severity of the ensuing arthritis. Acute tuberculosis, Group A streptococci, and some viral infections are also associated with the development of this disorder.
Reactive arthritis most commonly affects men between the ages of 20-40, and is more common in white men. However, it has been reported in children and the elderly.
Women who contract the condition usually show only mild symptoms, which can go undetected. Reactive arthritis has been linked to sexually transmitted infections nine times more than to gastrointestinal infections. Researchers believe that a high percentage of cases go undetected.
Sexually acquired reactive arthritis may present as an acute condition to a general physician or can occur following a sexually transmitted disease. In addition, the presence of other systemic symptoms may indicate a more serious condition.
Sexually transmitted infections, particularly Chlamydia, are known to trigger the development of sexually acquired reactive arthritis. In addition to the joints, the disease may impact the skin, mucous membranes, eyes, and tendons.
Treatment for sexually acquired reactive arthritis?
A physical examination will rule out other conditions and confirm a diagnosis of RA. Blood tests can check for signs of inflammation, infection, and the HLA B27 gene, which increases the risk of developing reactive arthritis.
Your doctor will also look for signs of recent infection and a decreased amount of red blood cells in the blood. Lastly, genetic testing may be done to rule out other conditions that could lead to RA.
The first step in treating reactive arthritis is to diagnose the underlying infection. Symptoms of this condition may include conjunctivitis, ulcers, or rashes. Antibiotics will not cure the condition, but they can help treat a bacterial infection.
You may be prescribed nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) to relieve pain. If these medications are not effective, a doctor may prescribe stronger anti-inflammatory drugs, such as corticosteroids, which mimic the hormone cortisol, to suppress inflammation and reduce pain.
Another important part of your treatment is maintaining a good sleep schedule. A good night’s sleep is critical in reducing the effects of reactive arthritis.
To encourage sleep, try starting a routine as early as possible. An early bedtime will also help you feel more rested and less irritable. A well-balanced diet is also essential. The goal of the treatment is to prevent the onset of another disease, and to relieve pain and discomfort.
Steve Page is a recognised expert on Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs) and STD treatments, having published numerous articles in peer-reviewed journals and presented his research at conferences around the world. He has an in-depth understanding of the latest medical research on STDs, and is an advocate for the development of new treatments and protocols to improve the health of those affected. In addition to his research, he has dedicated his career to understanding the causes and symptoms of STDs, as well as how to best treat those impacted.